Meet SnapDragon and RubyFrost

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Ingrid Lamont – Cornell University and New York Apple Growers LLC today unveiled the names of two new apple varieties in Geneva at Cornell’s Agricultural Experiment Station.

GENEVA – Cornell University and New York Apple Growers LLC have unveiled the names of two new apples that the fruit industry believes will be popular with consumers and profitable for growers.

SnapDragon is a cross between Honeycrisp and NY 752. The new spicy-sweet flavored apple has Honeycrisp’s juiciness and firmness, but doesn’t have that apple’s production problems. Honeycrisp can be vulnerable to seasonal pathogens that cause defects and the apple is tricky to store over winter.

RubyFrost is a cross between Braeburn with Autumn Crisp. That new apple will be 95 percent red.

The new varieties are grown on 930 acres in apple-growing regions throughout the state. When the first mature crop hits the market in 2015 there will be about 930,000 bushels of the two varieties combined.

The trees are still young and aren’t yet producing a full crop. But there will be enough to introduce SnapDragon and RubyFrost to the public through farm markets this year.

The New York Apple Growers are working with Cornell’s apple breeding company to make the new varieties exclusive to NY growers. Cornell will receive royalties from tree and fruit sales, and those funds will support the breeding program, helping to fund a pipeline of more new varieties in the future.